Japan in record military spending amid Chinese tensions

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has signed off a record defence budget in the face of territorial disputes with China and North Korea's nuclear and missile threats. Spending on fighter jets and submarines are partly behind the increase of 1.4% to 5.13tn ... ( read original story ...)

Fire that spread to 140 buildings under control in Japan

The ramen shop was in a shopping arcade northwest of the city's main train station, the area crowded with old wooden houses, according to Kyodo News. Itoigawa is on the Japan Sea coast in Niigata prefecture, about 260 kilometres northwest of Tokyo. ( read original story ...)

Thirty Australians selected for Sapporo 2017 Asian Winter Games

AOC: A team of thirty athletes have been selected to become Australia’s first event competitors at an Asian Winter Games when they hit the ice and snow in Sapporo in February. The team, which features some of the nation’s brightest winter prospects ... ( read original story ...)

Fire engulfs 140 houses on Japan's west coast

A fire engulfed about 140 houses, shops and other buildings in a Japanese coastal city northwest of Tokyo on Thursday, with early reports of just two people suffering injuries. The military was called in to help battle the blaze which started mid-morning ... ( read original story ...)

At least 140 buildings on fire in wind-swept blaze in Japan

TOKYO -- A restaurant fire whipped by high winds spread to at least 140 buildings Thursday in a small Japanese city on the Japan Sea coast. The blaze started in the morning at a ramen shop in Itoigawa city, Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency said. ( read original story ...)

Japan, US mark the return of military-used land to Okinawa

TOKYO — Japan and the U.S. marked a partial return of the land used by American troops to Okinawa in a ceremony Thursday on the southern island, but there was no sign the move was helping to lessen protests against the island's heavy U.S. military presence. ( read original story ...)